Experimental Psychology

Psychology is a science of human beings. To help unlock the secrets of how we think, feel and behave, psychologists design clever experiments and sophisticated observational procedures. Psychology is a bit like detective work: collecting and analysing data in order to reach sound conclusions.

Psychologists study people from many different perspectives: as processors of information (selective attention, memory, reading, speech, etc.), as experiencers of different emotions, both positive and negative, as players in the social scene (influenced by, and influencing others as well as being a product of different cultures) and as biological organisms (whose behaviour is controlled by our genes and neural systems, and is a product of our evolutionary past). Studying psychology provides students with a wide range of analytical and critical thinking skills, which can be used in vocations from clinical psychology to education to finance and business.

Magdalen has a particularly strong tradition of teaching and research in Experimental Psychology, and is perhaps the College with the largest number of academics in Psychology or Psychology-related disciplines. At Magdalen, Psychology is offered as the single honours school of Experimental Psychology and also as a joint honours course with Philosophy and/or Linguistics.

The psychology teaching also forms an important part of the Biomedical Sciences course. As in other colleges, the broad range of topics in psychology is covered by a range of specialists. However, the particular course of study followed by undergraduates (including the choice of options they make) is closely supervised by the College tutor in Psychology. In Biomedical Sciences and in the Joint Honour School of Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics, there is also close collaboration with the tutors in those subjects (see entries under Philosophy and Biomedical Sciences). Usually three students are admitted each year to read Psychology (including joint schools).

Magdalen has one full-time Tutorial Fellow in Experimental Psychology. Students will also likely interact with other fellows of College who conduct leading research in various fields of Psychology.

Entry requirements


All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA).

Written work

None required.

Specific subjects

No specific subjects are required, although Mathematics and/or a science subject are highly recommended. We expect you to have taken and passed any practical component in your chosen science subjects.

Deferred entry

Applications for deferred entry are not normally considered.